Show Notes: Is Your House Haunted? – On the House

Show Notes: Is Your House Haunted?

By on October 31, 2015
Halloween Safety Tips

Do you live in a haunted house? Is the toilet flushing by itself? Are the doors moving as if by magic? Is there a foul smell seeping up from some unknown location in your home? This week James and Morris remove the Halloween spells and hexes on your home! 

Thank you to our guest:

Darrell Hinkley

Metaltech-Omega Inc.

As a distributor and manufacturer of scaffolding, telescopic ladders and fences, Metaltech chose to innovate with new products that are safe and reliable to make the work easier! 


Is Your House Haunted?

If you have any of theses occurrences going on in your home it may be haunted…. Do you think? 

Unexplained noises – footsteps; knocks, banging, rapping; scratching sounds; sounds of something being dropped.

Doors, cabinets and cupboards opening and closing

Lights turning off and on

Items disappearing and reappearing

Unexplained shadows

Strange animal behavior

Feelings of being watched

Feelings of being touched

Cold or hot spots

Unexplained smells


These Are The Favorite Halloween Candies for Trick or Treaters;

  1. Reese’s
  2. M & M’s
  3. Snickers
  4. Hershey Bar
  5. Kit Kat


Mysterious Holes in the Ground

Tiny tunnel openings appear in your yard—and there’s no sign of animal activity.

Tiny tunnel openings appear in your yard—and there’s no sign of animal activity.

Possibility: Those holes are portals to the underworld, don’t you know? Mischievous excavators use them to come and go when you’re not paying attention.

More Likely: You’ve got a collapsed foundation drain, or the concrete inspection cover on the septic tank has deteriorated and caved in. You may also have a sunken leachfield pipe (known as a galley). Sinkholes are also caused by oil tanks or cesspools that have caved in.

The Fix: To find a damaged foundation drain, dig next to your house. Once you uncover the damaged drain, you can repair it. Yes, it’s a big job. If you find larger damage, you’ll need to hire an excavation contractor. Investigating larger collapsed underground structures, such as cesspools and oil tanks, is best left to the pros.


Got More Than Halloween Spiders? Here’s How to Get Rid of Them

Vacuum spiders and spider webs. One of the simplest methods for getting rid of spiders is vacuuming up egg sacs and webs as you run across them.

  • This method works best when trying to get rid of a few spiders. It may not be very efficient if you have a large spider population living in your home, however.
  • You can also use a broom to sweep away webs.
  • Rather than killing spiders, you should transport them outside if possible. Spiders are a species that is very beneficial to humans, and they’re rather noble once you understand them.
  • Web-building spiders that spend most of their time along the ceiling are not likely to fall victim to the glue trap, but these are very effective against ground-dwelling spiders like jumping spiders and house spiders.
  • Keep the trap flat to prevent it from curling up into itself.
  • Discard the trap as soon as you collect a few spiders on it.

Note that this is ineffective against spider eggs and webs, so you will likely need to use this method in conjunction with other techniques.

Spread diatomaceous earth around

Scatter a fine layer of this powder around cracks, corners, windows, and basements. Spread it anywhere and everywhere you expect a spider to be.

  • This powder is made from naturally-formed fossils of a water creature known as the diatom. It is safe for both people and pets.
  • When a spider crosses over the diatomaceous earth, its exterior gets cut up, causing bodily fluids to leak out. The spider eventually dries out and dies as a result.

You can also protect your home and prevent spiders from crawling in by spreading diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your house.


Get Your Spooky Trees Ready For Winter

Late-season pruning is best

Later in fall is a better time to prune than September or early October. This is because the structure of the tree can be seen easier once the leaves have fallen for the season.

“As for trees, it is always best to remove branches when the plant is dormant in late fall or early spring, unless it is broken or diseased,” Joy said. “The best time to prune is when the leaves are off the tree. That is when you can really see the branching structure of the tree and remove the cross branching and other corrective training that needs to be done within the canopy.”

Pruning for safety

“Another proactive step for managing trees in the fall and winter is end weight reduction on limbs and leads that grow over homes and structures,” Selner said. “Taking large limbs off in one cut could lead to large decay issues on the trunk of the tree. But going out to the ends of the branch and making proper cuts reduces that risk of that branch lead falling. These cuts reduce the weight because of the amount of leaves that come off with each branch, as well as opening up areas for the wind to pass through.”

If uncertain of what or when to prune, always contact a professional ISA-certified arborist for their opinion, especially if you are not sure of the variety or have an especially prized tree or shrub. Most arborists and landscapers gladly will come out to your property to have a look at your plant and determine the best course of action.


Your House May Not Be Haunted – Here’s Why

What’s Causing Those Footsteps in the Attic and Other Spooky Sounds and Smells? 

Are you haunted by strange noises and weird odors? With the proper maintenance, you’ve got more than a ghost of a chance to rest easy.

If you neglect your home maintenance projects, you could end up with problems scarier than any ghost or goblin.

Creaking and Popping in the Night

The many materials that make up your house — wood framing, plywood, glass, metal ducts, nails, plumbing pipes — all expand and contract at different rates.

When a house cools at night, these materials may move slightly, rubbing against each other and making noises. Occasionally, they’ll contract with an audible pop.

These sounds tend to be more noticeable in fall, when warm days give way to rapidly cooling nights. The bad news? Not much you can do about it. The good news? Those sounds are harmless and normal.

Zombie Odor

It’s either time to throw out the garbage, or you’d better call your gas utility to check on your gas lines and connections.

Natural gas is odorless, but natural gas suppliers add a foul-smelling odorant — butyl mercaptan — to alert occupants to any leaks. The smell is like rotten eggs.

Leaks can occur at your gas-fired water heater, fireplace, clothes dryer, and any gas line. Leaking natural gas is potentially dangerous — leave the house and call your natural gas provider to assess the situation. Most utility companies perform safety checks for free.

Footsteps in the Attic

Amplified by an unfinished attic space, a raccoon or even a good-size squirrel on your roof might sound like an ax murderer is doing the polka overhead.

These rooftop transits are normal for critters — roofs offer a nice long unobstructed highway.

Make sure your soffit, rafter, and gable roof vents are covered with screens and in good shape, or your rooftop buddies might find their way into your attic for real. Trim back branches that provide critters easy access to your roof.

Something’s Burning

You can smell the odor of burnt wood, but the smoke detectors aren’t going off and there’s no smoke in the house. The culprit could be your fireplace — even if you haven’t had a fire for days.

The probable cause is a drafty chimney and negative air pressure in your home, meaning that outside air is infiltrating down your chimney, bringing stale burnt smells with it.

Stop drafts by making sure your damper has a good seal. Regulate air pressure by adding more cold air return ducts to your HVAC system. You’ll get rid of the odor and save on your energy bill, too.

Moaning and Clattering

These classic spooky sounds often show up when the wind blows and there’s a storm brewing.

Vents for clothes dryers, bathrooms, and water heaters exit out the roof or the side of the house. To prevent backdrafts, these vents have dampers — flaps designed to let vented air out and prevent outside air from coming in. These flaps sometimes move and rattle in high winds.

Because dampers often are located in attics or in between floor joists, the sound can be difficult to pinpoint. You may need a new damper .


Who Shut Of The Lights?

Bulbs flicker menacingly. An electrical short crackles. There’s a persistent but vague smell of burning plastic. Then—gulp—everything goes dark.

Possibility: After William Shatner plugged it with a revolver, the carpet-covered monster from the famous Twilight Zone episode dropped off the plane’s wing and landed in your basement, where the beast has been chewing on the wiring in your electrical panel.

More Likely: There are dozens of reasons why lights flicker, outlets go dead and circuit breakers trip—none of them good, some of them dangerous. A few of the common problems:

  1. Spliced wires come apart.

The Fix: Use the right-size wire connector. Line up the stripped wire ends so they are parallel; twist on the connector, turning it clockwise. Give a gentle but firm tug on the splice to check that it’s sound.

  1. The house has aluminum wiring, which was commonly used in the 1970s—and is notorious for thermal expansion and loosening at splices, switches and outlets.

The Fix: Have an electrician replace the wiring, or at least check all connections.

  1. The light fixture is shot because someone “overlamped” it with a higher-wattage bulb than it’s rated for. This overheats the fixture, its wiring and the splices that connect it to the house wiring.

The Fix: Replace the fried fixture, and install a bulb with the proper wattage.

  1. A loose connection lurks at a switch or an outlet.

The Fix: Turn off the power, remove the wire from the device and cut away damage. Strip insulation and wrap the bare wire clockwise around the screw, then tighten firmly.

“My wife and I live in a home whose original construction dates to 1790, and I can’t help imagining what’s gone on there over the years. In cool weather, groaning and squeaking sounds emanate from the southwest corner of the house. The noises originate roughly from the area of the boiler and water heater, so I’m sure there’s a mechanical explanation. But the sounds change pitch and cadence like a human voice, so it’s unnerving. The house is talking!”


Toilet Papered?

If you wake up to find your trees and bushes covered in toilet paper, don’t waste any time getting out there to clean it up–it’s much easier to remove when dry than when wet. Use double-sided tape attached to a long stick (like a broom handle) to grab the strands hanging from trees and bushes. If you were unable to get the cleanup completed before it rains, use a hose and clean the residue with diluted vinegar.


Change Your Clock & Change A Bulb!

The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend that consumers change the battery in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when we change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time.

While you’ve got the ladder out to check your smoke detectors, why not change a bulb?

Switching to energy efficient bulbs in your ceiling fixtures could save you $30 a year per bulb on your electricity bill.

Energy efficient lighting is particularly important in the fall when Daylight Saving Time ends and the days are shorter..

And too, while you are on the ladder, change that old smoke detector to a new 10 year Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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